Water always features strongly in show gardens, and this year was no exception. Tasteful rills and reflective pools were plentiful, yet some designers pushed the boundaries to bring new, innovative ways to incorporate this element into their gardens.
Cleverly incorporated into a smaller space, Ruth Willmott’s black, reflective pools of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Garden show how you can balance water and plantings perfectly.
Soft pink planting of Lupinus, Aquilegia and Paeonia with Orlaya grandiflora surround black water pools – The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Garden, RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 – Design: Ruth Willmott, Sponsor: Breakthrough Breast Cancer – © Heather Edwards/GAP Photos
The ratio of pool to planting is also expertly executed in the M&G Garden, where Jo Thompson’s boardwalks sit above a central swimming pond. No one element dominates.
The M&G Garden, The Retreat – view toward oak summerhouse with wooden decking next to natural swimming pond pool acer hedging and irises next to water- designer Jo Thompson – sponsors, M &G Investments – awarded Silver Gilt – © Stephen Studd/GAP Photos
Beyond our Borders, designed by Sarah Eberle, uses striking pure aqua pools to represent oceans through which plant ailments can enter our countries. A gentle jet of water creates evolving, mesmerising ripples of sand. Kazuyuki Ishihara shows how water can be subtle in appearance, yet crucial to a soothing design formed of water-worn cobbles and globes of moss, in the Edo no Niwa garden. The result is an incredibly tranquil retreat that looks especially tempting after a day on your feet.
Edo no Niwa – Edo Garden by Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory. Designer: Kazuyuki Ishihara. Sponsors: Cainz Co Ltd, HB-101, jyutaro, Fudo Co Ltd, Nishitetsu Grand Hotel, British Airways, Cat’s, Kubiki, Act, Shizuoka Sekisui Heim Exterior, Gunma Sekisui Heim Co Ltd. RHS Chelsea Flower Show – © Rob Whitworth/GAP Photos
A water wall formed of nylon string cloaked in continual droplets, constructed in the Thinking of Peace garden, is also incredibly calming.
The garden that makes the stongest use of water, though, is Fuminari Todkak’s Personal Universe garden. The prominent element – a cylindrical waterfall, suspended in mid air – show how exciting the addition of water can be to a garden. There is no escaping the sights and sounds that this material can bring.